A New Start

Published in Meta, Content Management, PHP on Jan 14, 2021

Nearly four years ago, the current incarnation of this site came to be. Since then, as they're wont to do, my needs and wants have changed, and the current solution is ill-suited to fulfilling them. I thought I'd write this post as a way of soliciting suggests for a better approach.

I still prefer a static site generator over a hosted CMS. I don't think I would want to go back to a solution of the latter type, such as WordPress. I'd rather stick with using a SSG, even if it's not the one I wrote, Scribing.

I'd prefer to stick with PHP. It's still my lingua franca and I like being able to easily extend or otherwise tweak my solution as needed. However, I'm not opposed to switching languages if it means the solution is relatively frictionless.

I'd rather a relatively simple templating solution. Plates has served my pretty well, and I wouldn't mind sticking with it. I'm not opposed to switching to something with decent support, like Twig. Beyond that, I'd probably prefer to switch to something language-neutral, like Mustache.

I enjoy writing content in Markdown. I'd like to continue doing so. That said, if I have to do a manual one-time migration of my existing content to a particular flavor of Markdown used by my new solution, I'm not opposed to it.

I want to move away from Travis. Its GitHub Pages support has served me well, but between increasing build times and pricing changes, I think it's outlived its usefulness for me. I've considered trying to migrate to GitHub Actions, but...

GitHub Pages has also lost its luster. I miss being able to get a sense of the traffic on my site. The UI for Google Analytics has become increasingly unintuitive, and I haven't found a great alternative to it. None of these solutions can give me information like whether my Atom feed is being used. The only alternative I can see is running my own low-cost server somewhere to host the site, having it capture access logs, and then analyzing them myself.

I want a better visual design. The current design is readable, but not visually engaging at all. I want the site to better reflect me as a person. If the new solution has decent premade themes available, so much the better. I'd like something using Tailwind to make it easy for me to customize.

So, what do you think? Any suggestions on any of the above points? Feel free to contact me via e-mail or Twitter, or create a discussion on GitHub. Thanks in advance for your feedback!